With the latest figures indicating control of nearly half of the sales in the last six months, the Billionaire Rai family has tightened its grip on the sugar market.
According to the Sugar Directorate data, three firms owned by the Rai family-controlled 45 percent of the total sales which is a 4 percent growth from the 41 percent market share they held in the corresponding period in 2019.
As per the data, West Kenya had the lion’s share at 29 percent followed by Sukari Industries at 11 percent with Olepito coming in at a distant third with two percent of the total 292,040 sales reported between January and June.
The directorate said,“Most of the improvement in sugar production was registered from the private mills with West Kenya and Butali Sugar accounting for 28 percent and 15 percent of the total production, respectively”.
Additionally, other privately owned millers recorded improved sales with Transmara selling 37,545 tonnes of the sweetener, Kibos (42,565), and Busia factory at 14,341. Controlling nearly a third of the market share, West Kenya has for long-held position one in both production and sugar sales, Controlling nearly a third of the market share.
On the other hand, the state-owned mills performed dismally with a number of them remaining closed during the review period. The regulator said that all the government-owned mills, with exception of Chemelil, reported decreased sugar production due to limited cane supply and inefficiencies at the factories.
State-owned Nzoia emerged the best among the government millers recording sales of 9,033 tonnes followed by at 5,239, Chemelil 7,326 at Muhoroni 5,239 tonnes. Mumias and South Nyanza Sugar Companies remained closed during the period under review.
Mumias has been closed for nearly two years now. While aiming to improve productivity and cut on imports the State is planning to lease out all its factories to strategic investors through a fresh capital injection